Appendix 2: Country Definitions

The taxonomy is composed of two distinct parts: a global taxonomy and a local taxonomy. The global taxonomy is composed of a set of five fields that cannot be adjusted. These five categories were chosen after discussion among project members, taking into account the suggestions of local data collection teams of categories they considered useful for describing public access ICT venues in their countries. To maintain the goal of collecting data uniformly across countries, those suggestions were weighed against researchers’ ability to collect data for those categories in other countries. The resulting global taxonomy fields are shown below.

Urban and rural by country


Urban and rural definitions for Bangladesh come from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).[1] The BBS defines an urban area as the developed area (i) around an identifiable central place, (ii) where amenities like metalized (paved) roads, communication facilities, electricity, gas, water supply, sewerage connections usually exist, and (iii) which is densely populated and a majority of the population involved in non-agricultural occupations.


According to the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE),[2] the government agency for geography and statistics, an urban area is defined as the area located inside the urban perimeter of a city or town, and this perimeter is determined by a city law. A rural area is defined as the area of a municipality located outside the urban perimeter.

Brazilian law Nº 5.172 (October 25, 1966) defines as urban the area that has a continuity of constructions on it, and where certain social amenities are located. According to the law, to be considered urban an area must have at least two of the following improvements made and maintained by the government:

  1. Sidewalk with channels or pipes for rainwater
  2. Water supply
  3. Sewage system
  4. Public lighting system, with or without poles for household distribution
  5. Elementary school or health service, within 3 km


The definition of urban and rural in Chile is based on the National Statistics Institute (INE).[3] The INE defines an urban area as a set of houses concentrated, with more than 2,000, or 1,001 to 2,000, with 50 percent or more of its economically active population engaged in secondary and/or tertiary activities. In addition, areas that have tourism and recreation features and contain more than 250 houses but do not reach the population requirement are also considered urban entities. Rural areas are defined as places having low population density, primarily extractive activities, and a population between 1,001 and 2,000 people.


Urban and rural definitions in Ghana come from the Ghana Statistical Service,[4] which defines a rural area as a town/community with a population less than 5,000. All other areas are considered urban.


In Lithuania, urban and rural areas are identified using the definitions from Statistics Lithuania.[5] Urban population refers to persons living in cities and towns, i.e., densely built-up residential areas with a
population of more than 3,000, of whom more than two-thirds work in industry, business, manufacturing and social infrastructure. In a number of towns, the population may be less than 3,000 if those residential areas had already had the status of a town before the Law on the Territorial Administrative Units of the Republic of Lithuania and Their Boundaries was enacted (on 19 July 1994). Rural population refers to persons living in residential areas lacking urban characteristics (small towns, villages, isolated farmsteads).


Urban and rural areas in the Philippines are classified based on administrative divisions (i.e., cities and municipalities). Cities are automatically classified as urban. First class municipalities are also classified as urban. Second-class to sixth-class municipalities are classified as rural. This method was adopted for the study, since using the definitions of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB)[6] would leave the Philippines with practically no rural areas.

The NSCB defines an area as urban if it meets the following criteria:

  • In their entirety, all municipal jurisdictions which, whether designated chartered cities, provincial capital or not, have a population density of at least 1,000 persons per square kilometer: all barangays;
  • Poblaciones or central districts of municipalities and cities which have a population density of at least 500 persons/km2;
  • Poblaciones or central districts not included in (1) and (2) regardless of the population size which have the following:
    1. street pattern or network of streets in either parallel or right angle orientation;
    2. at least six establishments (commercial, manufacturing, recreational and/or personal services);
    3. at least three of the following:
      1. a town hall, church or chapel with religious service at least once a month;
      2. a public plaza, park or cemetery;
      3. a market place, or building, where trading activities are carried on at least once a week;
      4. a public building, like a school, hospital, puericulture and health center or library.
  • Barangays having at least 1,000 inhabitants which meet the conditions set forth in (3) above and where the occupation of the inhabitants is predominantly non-farming or fishing.
  • All poblaciones or central districts and all barrios that do not meet the requirements for classification of urban are considered rural.
Table A.1: Poverty line definitions, by country
Monthly Individual Poverty Line Monthly Household Poverty Line
Bangladesh BDT 1,300 BDT 1,680.7
Brazil R 255 R 1,020
Chile CLP 47,099 CLP 64,134
Ghana GHC 31 GHC 154
Philippines PhP 1,403 PhP 7,017


Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter Copyright © 2013 by Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School. All Rights Reserved.


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